5026.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 9:35 AM

Abstract #12605

Clinic environment projects promote breastfeeding among WIC clinic staff

Amal J. Khoury, PhD, MPH, Agnes Hinton, RD, DrPH, and Amal Mitra, MD, DrPH. Center for Community Health, University of Southern Mississippi, Box 5122, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, 601-266-5435, Amal.Khoury@usm.edu

Objectives. Although breastfeeding has significant advantages, many women in the U.S., particularly low-income women, do not breastfeed. Our appreciation of the role of health professionals in breastfeeding promotion is growing. In response, and with funding from USDA, Mississippi's WIC program implemented the Breastfeeding Promotion Clinic Environment Project in 1998. This research evaluated the effectiveness of this intervention on 1) breastfeeding knowledge, 2) attitudes and beliefs, and 3) perceived self-competency in breastfeeding promotion among WIC clinic staff. Methods. A quasi experimental evaluation design with 13 pairs of intervention and comparison clinics was used. Intervention clinics received funds to make their physical environments more breastfeeding friendly (e.g. create a nursing room), as well as task-appropriate training for all staff members. Pre- and post-test data were collected during site visits to the clinics and using self-administered questionnaires. Results: A total of 397 pretest and 277 posttests were completed. Overall, the intervention and comparison groups had similar demographic characteristics. The program had a significant positive impact on the staff's knowledge of benefits and barriers to breastfeeding, their attitudes and beliefs, and their perceived self-competency in breastfeeding promotion. Conclusion: Inexpensive improvements to the physical environments of prenatal clinics, combined with task-appropriate and culturally sensitive training of staff, are important strategies for breastfeeding promotion. WIC clinics serve primarily disadvantaged segments of the female population, and breastfeeding promotion among those groups can produce significant gains in women's and children's health, which can bring us closer to the goal of eliminating health disparities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: 1)describe a creative breastfeeding promotion clinic environment project; 2) create constructs to measure breastfeeding knowledge, breastfeeding attitudes and beliefs, and perceived self-competency in breastfeeding promotion among clinic staff members; and 3) analyze the impact of the intervention on the above outcomes

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA